China Wants to Boost Efforts That ‘Shape’ Global Events Under Xi

(Bloomberg) -- China set out broad tenets for raising its profile on the world stage in the coming years, underscoring President Xi Jinping’s campaign for his nation to offer an alternative to the US-led world order.Most Read from BloombergThe Late-Night Email to Tim Cook That Set the Apple Watch Saga in MotionBridgewater CEO’s Past Office Romance Led to Favoritism ClaimsL’Oreal Heir Francoise Bettencourt Meyers Becomes First Woman With $100 Billion FortuneChinese Carmaker Overtakes Tesla as World’s Most Popular EV MakerMaine Bars Trump From State’s 2024 Presidential Primary BallotXi, senior leaders and some 200 others attended a rare Communist Party conference on foreign policy this week that pledged to “raise China’s international influence, appeal and power to shape events to a new level,” according to statement the government released late Thursday.“We must reject all acts of power politics and bullying, and vigorously defend our national interests and dignity,” it added, in a veiled swipe at US influence. “We must take a clear and firm position, hold the international moral high ground, and unite and rally the overwhelming majority in our world.”This is just the fourth time the event has been held, following the inaugural conference in 2006 and follow-ups in 2014 and 2018. It is the foreign policy equivalent of the key twice-a-decade financial policy meeting that China held in October. Xi also attended that conference, which pledged to set up a long-term mechanism to resolve debt risks tied to local authorities.See: Xi Touts Alternative to Western Capitalism in Speech on MaoUnderscoring Xi’s determination to challenge the US, he used a speech on Tuesday intended to remember the nation’s founder, Mao Zedong, to instead laud “Chinese modernization.” Xi has promoted that vaguely defined concept since 2021, adding this week that is now “the solemn historical responsibility of today’s Chinese Communists.”Since Xi started abandoning his stringent approach to curbing Covid-19 in late 2022 — one that cut his nation off from the rest of the world for some three years — he has made a flurry of diplomatic efforts aimed at building China’s global standing.Story continuesA special feature of that has been portraying his nation as the champion of emerging economies known as the Global South, mostly through groups in which Beijing has a big say. In August, he called for the BRICS bloc to fasttrack a plan to expand its members, a move that would give his policies and ideas a bigger audience.Then in October he hosted the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing — an event for his signature infrastructure initiative that has become a club for Global South nations as Europe largely opts out.Xi has also been building up the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as more important regional security grouping. That group helps China forge closer ties with Russia and Iran, two major foes of the US.And he’s also seeking to deepen Beijing’s influence in Central Asia, as Russia focuses on its war in Ukraine. In May, Xi hosted a summit with leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to discuss closer trade and security links.Xi’s vision of a more influential China even includes the southern Pacific. In a sign of Beijing’s greater interest in the region, this year it appointed its inaugural special envoy for the Pacific islands.Meantime, there are indications Beijing is trying to revamp international organizations like the United Nations to better suit its view of the world. It is also stepping up efforts to have a bigger voice on bodies around the world that set technical standards, both to move its manufacturing up the global value chain and grow its influence.China says the moves are necessary because it deserves a voice to match its economic clout, though critics say it is undermining the bodies, for example by shifting the UN’s focus away from human rights that protect the individual.The diplomacy meeting Xi attended this week signaled that China intends to forge ahead with these projects in the coming years. The nation “faces new strategic opportunities in its development,” the conference statement said, adding that the country will “foster new dynamics in the relations between China and the world.”--With assistance from Josh Xiao, Ocean Hou and Evelyn Yu.Most Read from Bloomberg BusinessweekElon Musk Made 2023 All About HimselfWhat Dermatologists Really Think About Those Anti-Aging ProductsThe Most Secretive Longevity Lab Finally Opens Its DoorsWhat the Oldest Lab Rodents Are Teaching Humans About Staying YoungHow the Elf on the Shelf Took Over Christmas©2023 Bloomberg L.P.